After attending last night’s panel I left feeling very enlightened and inspired. We were very fortunate to have such knowledgeable speakers come share with us their personal stories of success and challenges as businessmen and women and as philanthropists. All three of these organizations are well known within the community of Fresno, however I was not aware of just how involved each one is in giving back. They are examples of what all financially fortunate people should be: enjoy your success because you have worked so hard to earn it, but also be willing to share those blessings with others. Each member of the panel shared very useful advice about approaching adversity or business strategies. The idea of challenge grants delivered by Kaye Bonner Cummings was such a beneficial tool to learn. As we further enter the grant-making project, I know that I will keep this lesson in mind. Darius Assemi’s ideas about taking initiative to create or change policies within the government were very inspiring. Similar to the stories shared by Paula De Young about her experiences working with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, I was so inspired by hearing about the development of the hospital in Afghanistan. I identified with each of them on a very personal level. I am a Liberal Studies major, with a concentration in Child and Family Sciences. I originally desired to be an elementary school teacher but decided that I would best serve in Community Benefit Organizations rather than in my own classroom. Hearing them speak reinforces to me that I will be able to successfully serve children and families by pursuing this certificate. Overall, it was a wonderful evening.

Gina Tempesta